My mom laughed at me on my way out the door this morning. I was late for work. I had on my boots, arms loaded down with the usual cup of coffee, keys, hat, sunglasses and purse on my shoulder. “You don’t have enough clothes on!” she yelled as I flew out the door. “I’ll be fine!” I snapped back at her. Turns out she was right; I dashed back into the house and grabbed an extra jacket.
It is funny how well she knows me. She always wanted bigger things for me. “Don’t become a farmer!” she would tell me over and over. Amusingly though, she was the one to buy me my first cow. My mom grew up on a dairy farm; it goes back generations in her family. She fully understands the ebbs and flows of it all. I think she wanted to protect me from the predictable frustrations that go along with farming, but watching her I couldn’t help but fall in love with the farm life.
She worked early mornings and late nights on the farm to help support the family. Even though it seemed like she was constantly busy, she always made time for me. She would leave work early to tie my shoes and hug me before putting me on the school bus. She never missed a tee-ball game or dance recital; I now realize how difficult that must have been.
Growing up she let me explore and thrive in the dirt. She was never concerned with washing the stains out of my clothes. I would run in from the barn with cuts and scrapes on my body, dragging mud in behind me. She would just patch me up and send me on my way. Not much has changed nowadays, except she makes me do my own laundry now.
I’ve never met anyone who works harder than my mother; it is all she knows. She never gets enough credit for what she does because she works behind the scenes. All the little things that “magically” get done are done by her. My dad is a cow person through and through; my mom will try to convince you she’s not. She’s being humble though. She knows as much as he does. I’ve learned a great deal from my mom from watching her work. She’s diligent and never quits until the task is done. She has an enormous amount of patience and is always kind. She never had to tell me how to behave around cows. I simply watched and emulated her.
The best thing about my mother is her heart. She loves her family fiercely and would do anything to protect us. She forces me to go to the doctor when I am convinced I am fine. She comes to every cow show even though I am moody and usually yell at her. She still stands and claps when I win. She will take the hat right off her head when I forget to bring one on a cold day. She doesn’t need to tell me she loves me. She shows me every day in the little things she does.
She is the bravest woman I have ever met. Things that should have broken her only made her stronger. She has been through a lot of heartache and disappointment in her life and still chooses to be positive and smile. The older I get the more I see myself becoming like her – not that it’s a bad thing at all. I am lucky to have a role model like her in my life. When I look at the pieces that make me who I am, I see her, because she was always the example of who I wanted to be.
Don’t forget this Mother’s Day to appreciate your mom!
- Dairy Producer
- Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
- Email Kelli Woodring